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Nagari sportscar business escapes Bolwell fire

Heat is still on: Bolwell co-founder Campbell Bolwell says this morning’s fire at the company’s Mordialloc composite factory will have no impact on its roll-out of the mid-engined Nagari sportscar.

Fire hits Bolwell’s truck body business, not its car-making operations

24 Apr 2014

SPORTSCAR maker Bolwell says the future of its Nagari two-seat coupe remains safe after fire ripped through one of the company’s factory complexes in Melbourne this morning.

Speaking from Taiwan, Bolwell co-founder Campbell Bolwell told GoAuto the fire was contained to the company’s Wells Street composites factory in Mordialloc, which builds truck bodies, and not the car-making operations based at nearby Seaford.

“No, the car-making factory is OK,” Mr Bolwell said. “We still plan on making five cars to sell this year, so it is unaffected.”

According to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, 30 workers were evacuated after drums of resin used to form fibreglass parts caught fire about 6.15am.

The fire spread across three factories after getting into the roof, and sent thick, black acrid smoke across homes in the area.

Bolwell produced the composite-clad, six-cylinder and V8-engined Nagari two-seat high-performance sports car in Melbourne in the 1970s before strict regulations introduced to stop car-makers from building and selling overtly powerful vehicles killed off the industry.

In 2009 it resurrected the Nagari name with a modern-day mid-mounted V6-powered sports coupe that uses either a naturally aspirated or supercharged 3.5-litre engine borrowed from the locally made Toyota Aurion large car.

The car-maker reacted angrily within weeks of the modern-day Nagari’s release after it was refused funding under the $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund to create a battery-powered version of the sportscar.

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